August 6, 2015 / 8:05 AM / 3 years ago

Suspect arrested in Louisiana officer's killing: police

(Reuters) - A suspect was arrested on Thursday afternoon in the fatal shooting of a police officer in Shreveport, Louisiana, ending a 16-hour manhunt, police said.

The suspect, Grover Cannon, 27, is accused of fatally shooting Officer Thomas LaValley on Wednesday evening. Cannon, a convicted felon, will face charges of first-degree murder, in addition to earlier charges of attempted second-degree murder and a weapons violation, Shreveport police said in a statement.

Cannon was apprehended in Shreveport around 3 p.m. local time after a statewide search involving multiple law enforcement agencies, Police Corporal Marcus Hines told a news conference.

Authorities received a tip that Cannon was hiding in a house in Shreveport, Hines said. They arrived and found him in a garage-type building behind the home, and he was arrested without incident, Hines said.

“It’s very reassuring to get a guy of this caliber off the street,” Hines said.

On Wednesday night, LaValley responded to a report that a man, possibly armed, was threatening a neighbor in her home in Shreveport, a city of about 200,000 people 200 miles east of Dallas, Shreveport Police Chief Willie Shaw said. LaValley then got into a confrontation with Cannon, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, and the officer was shot multiple times in the upper body, Shaw said.

He was wearing his uniform and body armor when he was shot, Shreveport police said.

The FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

LaValley had worked in the Shreveport Police Department for four years after graduating at the top of his training class, Shaw said.

“He was doing what he loved,” Shaw said. “He did not hesitate to confront a bad person.”

LaValley was the 29th Shreveport police officer killed in the line of duty since 1898, according to the department’s website.

Before joining the department in 2011, he worked as a cameraman at the local broadcaster KTBS, the TV station reported.

The shooting comes at a time of heightened tensions between law enforcement and minority groups. Several unarmed black men have been killed over the past year in confrontations with police. Numerous officers have been killed in the line of duty.

Cannon’s arrest came on the same day that mourners attended funeral services in Tennessee for Officer Sean Bolton, killed in Memphis on Saturday. The suspect in that case surrendered to federal marshals on Monday.

Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles, Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida, Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago, and Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Walsh

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